Shopping carts in Lake Highlands Kroger parking lot. (Photo by Rasy Ran)

Shopping carts in Lake Highlands Kroger parking lot. (Photo by Rasy Ran)

It was an unsettling scene, especially for a young photojournalist.

As the sun set on a blustery Monday, Advocate photographer Rasy Ran arrived to prep for a shoot at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu studio located on the second level of the Kroger shopping center at Northwest Hwy. and Plano Road.

Classes weren’t due to commence for another 30 minutes or so. As Rasy pulled into the barren lot, he encountered 20-some curiously arranged shopping carts.

His mind raced. What? Why? Who?

I was en route to meet him when I received a group message, the above picture attached.

“RR: About to photograph Jiu-Jitsu and I find a satanic circle of carts at the nearby Kroger. #itwasgoodknowingyall”

His coworkers replied pronto with possible explanations ranging from “disgruntled worker” to “alien crop cart circles” to “the rapture” and the quickly dismissed (and frankly uninspired, Rachel) suggestion, “wind.”

An intrepid journalist, Rasy dug until he uncovered the truth, from a source he identifies only as Cart Man.

“Cart Man came out and asked why I was taking photos and then he told me, ‘We are going to put up a Valentine’s Day tent. It’s not because of UFOs or anything.'”

There you have it. No aliens or witchcraft. Just a local grocer gearing up for Valentine’s Day, a holiday about which we also have conspiracy theories, but we will save those for another time.